Sausage and peppers pasta tosses sliced chicken sausages with fresh bell peppers and pasta in a delicate garlic butter sauce. This recipe includes both stove top skillet or oven roasted sheet pan prep instructions.
When we need a quick and easy dinner idea, I love to use simple flavored chicken sausages from the refrigerator section of our grocery store.
The sausages usually come in packs of four. Rather than cook and serve them in their whole form, I slice them on an angle and then toss them into various rice and pasta dishes.
Here I'll show you how to make a delicious and easy pasta with sausage and peppers that you can make in any kitchen -- at home or on the go.
Fun Fact: This easy pasta recipe is just one of 6 easy dinners I love to cook at the beach during our annual family vacations. Get all the details on the week of beach house recipes here.
Why This is the Best Recipe
Pasta is such a family-friendly dinner that I can make at home or even on vacation. I think this is the best sausage and peppers pasta recipe because:
- Skillet or Sheet Pan: You can brown the sausage and peppers in a stovetop skillet or on a sheetpan in the oven. This makes it very flexible for making dinner in a variety of kitchens.
- Buttered Noodles: This dinner is always a hit with my kids because it has a simple garlic butter pasta at the base.
- Easy Variations: Mix and match the flavors of chicken sausages or colors of bell peppers and you've got a whole new dinner.
- Colorful Veggies: I love to add fresh arugula or baby spinach at the end for extra color and nutrition for my family.
When you're cooking this simple pasta dish in a rental kitchen, you need to have the shortest amount of ingredients possible.
If you're cooking at home, you might want to add just a few more things. I'll make note of which items I usually add when we're at home.
- Pasta: I recommend either penne, farfalle, or rigatoni. A short noodle works the best for this dish.
- Prepared Chicken Sausages: I've tried many different flavors of chicken sausage in this dish, be sure to read my notes below.
- Bell Pepper: You can use any color bell pepper you want. If you want to add lots of veggies, use 2!
- Arugula: You can substitute fresh baby spinach if you prefer.
- Olive Oil
- Minced Garlic
- Grated Parmesan (optional)
When I'm at home, I often use one or more of these items as well:
- White Wine (optional)
- Fresh Lemon (optional)
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
Chicken Sausage Flavors to Try
We've tried several different flavors of chicken sausages over the years, these are our favorites:
- tomato and basil
- pineapple terriyaki
- pineapple and bacon
Absolutely any one of those would pair perfectly with the butter and peppers in this dish!
Prep the Sausage and Peppers
When you're trying to make 4 chicken sausages stretch for a full family dinner, I find it helpful to slice them into bite-sized pieces.
They are easier to toss into the pasta dish, they brown beautifully, and it helps make our plates look fuller.
Line the sausages up and use a sharp knife to slice them on the diagonal for larger-looking pieces:
I usually prefer to slice the bell peppers into thin slices, especially when I'm sauteeing them in the skillet.
If you plan to roast the sausage and peppers, you might prefer to cut them into chunks. It will work either way.
If you want to build the pasta dish completely on the stovetop, get the pasta cooking in a pasta pot.
Then in a large skillet, add the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken sausages and brown them on both sides.
Add the bell peppers and cook until they have just charred on the edges and are starting to soften.
At this point, your skillet may have golden brown bits sticking to the bottom of the pan. If you have it on hand, you could deglaze the skillet with a splash of white wine or chicken stock. This is an optional step.
Add the minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Nudge the sausage and peppers to the side and add the butter to the skillet. Melt the butter and toss with the sausage and peppers.
Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss to coat in the butter. If your skillet isn't large enough, you may want to do this in the pasta pot instead.
Finally, add the fresh arugula to the skillet and stir it in. It will begin to wilt from the heat of the pasta.
Once the arugula has wilted, you're ready to serve the pasta with grated parmesan if you desire.
Sheet Pan Instructions
If you prefer to roast the sausage and peppers in the oven, preheat the oven to 400°F.
Toss the sausage and peppers in olive oil and lay them in a single layer on a large sheet pan.
Roast them for 20 minutes or until the peppers have softened and charred. Be sure to toss them half way through the cooking time.
You can melt the butter in the pasta pot after the pasta has been drained. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
Then add the pasta, roasted sausage and peppers and toss together. Add the arugula and stir it in and let it wilt for 1 minute.
Spicy Sausage and Peppers: Use andouille sausage and crushed red pepper flakes.
Garden Veggie Pasta: Add sugar snap peas and/or broccoli to the skillet or sheet pan.
Sausage, Peppers, and Onions: Slice a red onion or Vidalia onion and add it to the recipe at the same time as the bell peppers.
And once you have tried them, you may want to use these delicious chicken sausages to make this easy grilled Polish sausage recipe.
This simple pasta dish is delicious all on its own but if you wanted to round out the meal, I recommend homemade garlic bread and a simple green salad!
Sausage and Peppers Pasta
- 1 (16 oz) box of pasta penne or linguine
- 1 package (4 links) flavored chicken sausages
- 1 red bell pepper sliced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 5 tablespoon butter
- 4 cups arugula
- Grated or shredded parmesan for serving optional
- Fill a large pasta pot ⅔ full with water and bring to a boil. Cook the pasta for the lowest time listed on the box. Drain and set aside.
- Meanwhile, cut the chicken sausages into slices on an angle.
- Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chicken sausages. Stir them together and cook until the sausages begin to brown. Be sure to flip the sausages so they brown evenly on both sides.
- Add the peppers to the skillet and cook for 5 minutes or until the peppers begin to soften. Add the garlic and stir to toss. Cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant.
- Add the butter to the skillet and melt.
- Add the pasta to the skillet and toss to coat with the butter. (If your skillet isn't large enough, scrape the sausages, peppers, and sauce into the pasta pot and toss the pasta there.)
- Add the arugula to the skillet a few handfuls at a time and toss with the pasta. The arugula should just begin to wilt.
- Serve immediately with parmesan on top if desired.
Sheet Pan InstructionsIf you prefer to roast the sausage and peppers in the oven, preheat the oven to 400°F. Toss the sausage and peppers in olive oil and lay them in a single layer on a large sheet pan. Roast them for 20 minutes or until the peppers have softened and charred. Be sure to toss them half way through the cooking time. You can melt the butter in the pasta pot after the pasta has been drained. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Then add the pasta, roasted sausage and peppers and toss together. Add the arugula and stir it in and let it wilt for 1 minute.
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